How Matt Damon Got A Tattoo Designed By Heath Ledger


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By Maria Scinto/Sept. 10, 2021 1:36 pm EDT

Heath Ledger, the talented, yet tortured actor who is perhaps best known for the time he spent under the Joker’s painted-on mask, has been gone for 13 years now. Sadly, this is longer than his all-too-brief movie career lasted (as per IMDb). Although it’s kind of a cliché to say that someone “lives on in our memories” once they’re gone, and is no substitute for having the actual person still around, it is nonetheless true, and all the more so when we have such movie classics as “Brokeback Mountain” and “The Dark Knight” to serve as memory aids.

It’s not just in his movies that Ledger lives on, however, nor is it just in the hearts of his friends. With two of his friends, there’s a little part of him actually inked onto their skin. How did Matt Damon and his wife, Luciana Barroso, come to have Ledger-designer tattoos? Well, it’s an interesting story.

Damon and Ledger were inked by the same artist

As Matt Damon told it in an interview with GQ (he’s their October 2021 cover boy), he got his first ink in 2013, and it was all his wife’s idea. One day, according to Damon, the two were home in Manhattan when she just announced, “We’re getting tattoos.” He agreed, with one stipulation: the tattooist was to be the same person who’d inked his pal Heath Ledger. Fortunately, the tattooist to the stars, Scott Campbell, was close at hand in Brooklyn. When he got the call, he hopped on his bike and came on over to tattoo the name “Lucy” on Damon’s arm in honor of his wife’s name, Luciana. 

The story doesn’t end there, of course, since Ledger’s yet to appear except in a flashback cameo endorsing the ink slinger. As it happens, though, the tattoo artist brought along his laptop and allowed Damon to scroll through different tattoo designs. One scribble-like design didn’t appear to depict any recognizable object, so Damon asked what it was. The tattooist told him, “I have no idea — I think that’s just some s**t that Heath squiggled.” Damon immediately replied, “That’s the one I want.” He got Ledger’s design on his arm, and his wife got it on her foot, a decision neither has ever come to regret. Damon said they see it as being “like a little creative little blessing,” and a daily reminder of a friend who departed too soon.

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